High blood pressure affects millions of people, but is it possible to have hypertension without even knowing it? According to a new study, this is the case for one in eight Americans.
The condition, known as masked hypertension, occurs when a patient’s blood pressure is normal when measured in a doctor’s office or clinic but high outside of the office. This undiagnosed condition puts the patient at an increased risk for heart disease because patients are unaware that they even have hypertension.
The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, measured the blood pressure of patients who were monitored for 24 hours a day and found 14 percent of participants to have masked hypertension. This is unlike “white-coat hypertension,” which does not put patients at higher risk for heart disease. That’s when patients have higher blood pressure measurements when they are in the doctor’s office but normal rates outside of the office.Read More